Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

Film and Plot Synopsis

Three employees of Seattle Magazine head to the seaside community of Ocean View, WA to find and profile the man behind a bizarre and hilarious classified ad who claims to need a partner to travel through time. With no more than a PO Box number, they track him down at a local grocery store where he restocks the store. When the lead reporter befriends him, she learns he’s sincere in his quest, and as the story unfolds, all three employees they learn something about themselves and that the hope for something better is universal.

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‘Safety Not Guaranteed’ Movie Summary

Safety Not Guaranteed begins with the sarcastic Darius Britt living at home with her father as she interns at Seattle Magazine. One day at work, she, along with another intern, Arnau, is selected to go with writer Jeff Schwensen to help cover a story based on a classified ad that reads:

Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. P.O. Box 91 Ocean View, WA 99393. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.

Jeff doesn’t really care about covering the story. He just wants to go back to Ocean View to track down a high school sweetheart he banged back in the day, and bang her again. While he is busy tracking down that woman, Darius finds the person who wrote the ad is grocery store clerk, Kenneth Calloway. Jeff makes a half-assed attempt at getting Kenneth to select him for the mission to go back in time, but is quickly rejected by Kenneth.

Darius then tries, and succeeds as Kenneth like’s Darius’ attitude. He agrees to let her join him to go back into the past. Darius quickly discovers that Kenneth is paranoid that secret agents are following his every move. Even though he is paranoid, she eventually gains his trust as they “train” in the woods around town.

The two begin to fall for each other as Darius opens up about the death of her mother being the reason she wants to go back into time, and Kenneth reveals that he wants to go back in time to save his girlfriend, Belinda, from being hit and killed in her house when a car drove into it.

Jeff, meanwhile, has tracked down his high school girlfriend, and banged her. He tries to get her to move back to Seattle with him, but she thinks he’s just playing her, and she says no. Jeff seems to have real feelings for her this time around, and is very upset by her rejection. He goes back to the hotel where the group is staying, and then berates Arnau for wasting his youth. The two men set out to find some women for Arnau to bang, which he does.

The next day, Jeff’s boss, Bridget, calls him to tell him that Belinda, Kenneth’s dead girlfriend, is alive and well, and tells him to interview her. Darius does the interview instead, and learns that Belinda was never Kenneth’s girlfriend; just a friend, and that it was Kenneth who had driven into her house, but no one was injured.

As Darius leaves, she is confronted by secret agents looking for Kenneth because they think he’s a spy. Darius escapes from the men, and heads over to Kenneth’s to ask him again about Belinda. Kenneth is ecstatic to learn that she is alive, and that it’s a sign that his time traveling worked.

Jeff barges in on the two to tell them that the secret agents are also here. Kenneth freaks out, and runs into the forrest. Darius follows him to a lake where Kenneth has installed his time machine on a small boat. As Darius joins him on it, Kenneth tells her that the mission has now changed. They are going back in time to save her mother.

Jeff, Arnau, and the two secret agents arrive as Kenneth activates the time machine. In a flash, they all disappear, leaving the four men on the shore to wonder if the two really went back in time.

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FilmDistrict released Safety Not Guaranteed on October 18, 2012. Colin Trevorrow directed the film starring Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, and Jake Johnson.

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